The Bridge Season 3 Episode 1 Recap: The Saga Continues
Please be advised: the following piece contains plot points from the first episode of The Bridge Season 3.
The new series of The Bridge returned to BBC Four tonight with all the familiar hallmarks that made its previous seasons so successful, including its stylistic palette of blues and greys, and a predominantly grey sky giving it that chilling effect. Add to that a brooding soundtrack and we once again join Saga Noren on her latest case. The viewing was bound to be an uncomfortable one, but we were still inexorably drawn into the journey as we settled down with our hot chocolate and blankets for a deliciously dark night in.
The familiar opening credits and theme song brought on a frisson of excitement, as the long wait since the last series finally came to a close. The crime scene presented a tableau of macabre looking mannequins of two children and a man, alongside our murdered female victim, posed in a domestic scene gathered around a table. The victim was a Danish national who was killed on Swedish soil, which meant that Saga needed a Danish colleague to assist with the investigations. With Martin in prison, this meant that a new partner had to be found. Unfortunately Saga’s reputation preceeded her, and her new partner, Hanne Thomsen, was a most reluctant appointee, especially as it was known that Saga was instrumental in Martin’s incarceration last season.
It was evident that Martin’s influence on Saga had not been entirely lost, however, when Saga attempted small talk with Hanne by asking about her hobbies and hometown, but she was told in no uncertain terms that the partnership was only a working one, as Hanne was not interested in a friendship that could ultimately end in the way that Martin’s did with Saga. This does not augur well at all for this pairing…
We soon learned that the aforementioned victim is Helle Anker; an outspoken political activist on gender neutrality and LGBT issues, who instigated the opening of a gender neutral kindergarten in Copenhagen, and had received many threats to her life in the the past. Helle was involved in a lesbian relationship, and she and her partner had a 4-year-old child together. Saga’s insensitivity to other people’s emotions was still very apparent when she offered to show Helle’s grieving partner pictures of the crime scene, but was prevented by her colleague from doing so.
The widow spoke of her partner’s bravery, and also remarked that “brave people are never popular”. She then asked the pair what she should tell her child about his mother’s death, to which Saga responded with certainty and authority that “4-year-olds do not understand the abstract idea of death”. Her colleague told her that she had shown “poor judgement” in trying to show the crime scene photos to someone whose partner had just been murdered. At this point, we very much feel the absence of Martin’s guiding hand.
On returning home after spending the night at work, Saga found a middle aged woman waiting for her at the entrance of her flat, who set her off into a frenzy as she tried to run away from the encounter. The woman shouted after her that her father was dying, and wanted to see her. Viewers can only surmise that this woman is Saga’s mother. We are not used to seeing Saga losing control and giving in to panic. We then saw her calming down after she started to rearrange her books on the shelf after in her flat. She gave a little smile as order was restored by this act. It is these little expository scenes that serve to tell us more about the character of Saga; the need for order and containment in all aspects of her life. What was it in her past that could unseat her to such an extent? What is she trying to keep locked in the very depths of herself that she is so desperate to keep the lid on? This encounter could be the first of bringing Saga’s personal life to the fore.
Apart from the main storyline, there were several other threads running concurrently throughout the episode which will no doubt be brought together as the weeks progress.
As we approached the end of the episode, Hanne had her foot blown off in an explosion, which meant that a new Danish partner had to found. The episode ended with a pill-popping ‘mystery man’ volunteering to be Saga’s new investigative partner.
So much to look forward to in the next episode, and we can’t wait to see what unfolds. A solid four-star season premiere.
Catch up now on BBC iPlayer, and stay tuned for our review of episode two.
New episodes of The Bridge air Saturdays at 9pm on BBC Four.